Our law firm is investigating a lawsuit against Tropical Smoothie Cafe for people who are part of the hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen strawberries. The company imported these strawberries from Egypt.
Our food safety lawyers are representing a number of people sickened in this outbreak. For answers to some of your questions, read “Restaurant Lawsuit FAQ.” You can also contact our legal team for a free consultation (click here).
This outbreak has sickened at least 113 people from 7 states: Maryland (10), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1), Virginia (94), West Virginia (5), and Wisconsin (1) (updated September 14, 2016).
Approximately 38% of the residents in VA have been hospitalized for their illness. This is a very high hospitalization rate for a hepatitis A outbreak. Our hepatitis A lawyers are looking into this issue and how it will affect victim compensation.
Frozen strawberries imported from Egypt are the likely source of this outbreak, according to the CDC. At this time, the CDC does not know of any other restaurants or retailers that received the tainted strawberries.
Federal health officials say that while Tropical Smoothie Cafe has removed the contaminated strawberries from the restaurants, case numbers are expected to rise because of the long incubation period and the possibility of secondary infections. Onsets of illness for the 94 cases range from early May through September.
The Hepatitis A Investigation
The investigation has focused on determining the source of the outbreak. During interviews with health investigators, 68 of the 70 people with hepatitis A reported drinking smoothies at Tropical Smoothie Café locations in a limited geographical area, including Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Most of them remember the smoothies contained strawberries. The ill person in Oregon had consumed a smoothie containing frozen strawberries from a Tropical Smoothie Café location in Virginia.
The investigations currently indicate that the strawberries served in Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia locations were imported from Egypt. Investigators are working to determine which specific lots of strawberries may have been contaminated with Hepatitis A virus and to find out if they were distributed to other U.S. customers.
Frozen strawberries used at Tropical Smoothie Café locations were collected for testing. The FDA’s analysis is ongoing.
What to Do If You or a Loved One Has Hepatitis A
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with hepatitis A after eating at a Tropical Smoothie Café, you can contact our law firm and find out if you can file a lawsuit to get compensation and justice. Hepatitis A infections can cause serious illness, and you may not be able to go back to work for weeks or months. If your child was sick, he or she may not be able to go to school, and even a week off can destroy a grade point average, prevent participation in sports and other activities, or even require a child to be held back a year.
Our law firm is handling cases for people like you who just want to get fair treatment. You can contact our law firm using our free consultation form. Find out if you can sue, how much your case might be worth and how long it might take to get money to help pay your hospital bills, pay you back for the time you had to take off work and compensate you for your pain and suffering.
What to Do if You Have Symptoms
If you have symptoms of hepatitis A, you need to get to a doctor as soon as possible for a diagnosis. Symptoms of a hepatitis A infection include the following:
- loss of appetite
- abdominal pain
- joint pain
- dark urine
- clay-colored stools
- yellow skin or eyes.
Symptoms usually start 28 days after exposure but can appear anywhere from 15-50 days after exposure.